Plus500 Review: strengths and weaknesses
‘Top 3’ Plus500 strengths
- Guaranteed stops and other risk management tools
- No commissions
- Leading Forex platform across all devices
‘Top 3’ Plus500 weaknesses
1) Guaranteed stops and other risk management tools
Plus500 is one of the leaders in it’s field when it comes to tools to help forex traders manage risk including guaranteed stops which are only offered by a handful of brokers.
A guaranteed stop loss order means you can determine the most you are willing to lose on a trade any no matter how turbulent the markets are, you can not lose more than that amount. A standard stop loss order on the other hand in turbulent markets can lead your losses exceeding the limits set.
There are other risk management tools including:
Account leverage tailored for you
Forex traders can choose the leverage level to suit their experience levels and risk appetite.
A trader’s leverage can be determined based on ‘equity’ and the ‘total position value’. Depositing or withdrawing funds impacts equity while total position combines this with the leverage chosen. The account snapshot diagram within the forex broker platform shows these two metrics when forex trading.
‘Close at Profit’ and ‘Close at Loss’ Tools
Unlike a guaranteed stop loss which has a premium price, these two tools are standard and have no additional charges.
Using these tools lets you exit the market if it moves in the wrong direction or take profits once your profit target is achieved. This means that you can calculate what price will determine the profit/loss you want to achieve making currency trading simple.
Similar to ‘close at profit’ that allow you to exit the market when your profit target is met, a trailing stop will move with your profit.
If a market moves in the wrong direction, this mechanism will close out your position at a new level locking in profits while limiting downside risk. The key benefit is you don’t have to closely watch the market when your trading in the market.
This feature allows you to be notified when your buy or sell predetermined price is reached and it’s time to act on the market.
These alerts don’t action the trade so you can still determine if you want to close your position or allow it to remain open for a longer period. A price alert screen, sound and bell icon are features to ensure you don’t miss when this price occurs.
2) No commissions
Our Plus500 review found that Plus500 has no commissions on any of their trades. This is a very important feature, and distinguishes Plus500 from other Australian forex brokers.
If you’re new to the concept of commissions, the below explains this concept in greater detail:
Why Do Some Forex Brokers Charge Commissions?
The main way a forex broker makes money is similar to a currency exchange business at an airport with a different rate charged to buy back the currency or sell the currency to an individual. The difference between these rates is know as the spread. The issue though with a spread is that unless they are fixed (which Easy Forex Offers) they can widen and shorten every hour and day. This makes trading costs inconsistent which can difficult for frequent traders working on systems.
To minimise spreads and make trading costs more consistent when forex trading, commissions were introduced. By having a set percentage fee based on volume the spreads can be reduced and in some rare circumstances can even be 0 pips. It is debatable if commission brokers result in lower overall fees so traders choose a mix of options based on their trading styles.
3) Leading forex platform
It offers a comprehensive and easy to use platform for Forex trading. One can trade in multiple markets from a single screen and offers real time quotes on all assets.
The software experience is clean and all tabs are clearly displayed showing clear information on trading positions both current and past. The charts are clearly displayed and it do not show multiple graphs, bombarding the trader.
The trading platform is available in 3 different versions: the first is a downloadable version that can be easily copied onto laptop or PC, the second one is web based and requires net connectivity and the final version of the platform is for mobile and tablet. The trading interface is not complicated and customers can start trading without needing any further support.
1) No phone support
Our Plus500 review found that unlike many other leading forex brokers, Plus500 doesn’t offer and phone support.
The only way to contact Plus500 is through sending an e-mail or through the online chat service offered on the website.
This is quite problematic and has caused many clients to voice their concern in online forums. Although the nature of forex trading attracts many complaints, as people stand to lose money from a bad trade, unable to contact over the phone is cause for concern. Lack of phone contact leads to a lack of trust between clients and the broker, with their being a great deal of difference between reassurance over the phone and non-personal messages or emails.
2) No educational offerings
Our Plus500 review found that the Plus500 website provides little to no educational material. Many brokers provide comprehensive courses, including videos, ebooks and quizzes to help their client learn more about the complicated industry of forex brokering.
Many brokers provide courses, videos, ebooks, quizzes and so on to help clients learn more about the markets in which they are investing; but Plus500 provides none of these services. The broker does at least provide one legally required “Key Information Document” (KID) that outlines the basics of what each available instrument is and the risks associated with trading it. The KID has information on commodities, cryptocurrencies, ETFs, Forex, Indices, options and shares. Clearly Plus500 expects its clients to know what they’re doing or, at the very least, to seek out educational material elsewhere.
If clients want to learn more about what they can trade at Plus500 and how to effectively understand and analyze those trades, they will need to find that information elsewhere. Plus500 does not provide any educational material. We suspect this is by design and that they have chosen to focus exclusively on trade execution.
3) No MetaTrader 4 platform
Our Plus500 review found that a common criticism of Plus500 is the lack of the industry leading MetaTrader 4 platform.
In its place, Plus500 offer a still very good platform that is easy to use and very functional over a variety of devices. Although this platform is described as a positive above because it is fantastic, many users are wary of trying new platforms which are not consistent with the industry standard.
In the world of forex, consistency can be both good and bad. In some ways, the broker must stand out, but in others, the broker must be consistent so as not to cause concern.
Plus500 is a very reliable CFD Provider and offers the best exposure to currency markets with the best payouts and lowest spreads. The Plus500 platform is one of the most user-friendly platforms out there, yet, it includes advanced features attractive to experienced traders. The risk management features are very strong in comparison to the industry standards. No commissions is a significant advantage for users wanting value for money.
Plus500 does have several negative features, but these are not significant and don’t really detract from Plus500 being a strong forex broker. No phone support and lack of educational offerings are disappointing for the client, and the broker should pursue improving these features, as they are basically the industry standard. Further, the lack of platform consistency can be viewed as a positive and a negative.
Plus500 UK Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 509909) which shows that the broker is safe and reliable.